If you’re a fan of curry, you’ll love this easy and delicious Curry Fried Rice with Chicken. This fried rice is packed with lots of aromatic bold flavors.
This curry fried rice is made with fragrant yellow curry powder, fresh vegetables, chicken, and jasmine rice. It’s fragrant, super flavorful, and absolutely delicious.
It’s a great weeknight dinner idea! It comes together in less than 30 minutes and it’s make-ahead friendly. You can easily customize this yellow curry fried rice recipe in many ways. It’s a very versatile recipe!
I love using yellow curry powder when I cook. It’s an aromatic spice, with savory and mild sweet flavors, and so so flavorful.
Today I’m sharing this yellow curry fried rice recipe. It’s seriously the BEST! Every spoonful is packed with tender and flavorful rice, chicken, and veggies.
I love making this yellow curry fried rice on weeknights because it comes together in just 30 minutes. Plus, every ingredient is prep ahead friendly. In fact, the rice should be made the day before for best results. Day-old rice is your best bet when it comes to fried rice because it absorbs flavors and sauces better without getting too wet.
Why I love this curry fried rice:
- It’s PACKED with flavor! The yellow curry powder and aromatics add so many rich and bold flavors.
- It’s make-ahead and prep-ahead friendly: You can either make it ahead and reheat, or prep all the ingredients 1-2 days in advance.
- Done in 30 minutes or less! Easy peasy.
- Highly customizable: Swap the proteins, veggies, or type of rice to anything you like.
What Is Yellow Curry Powder?
This curry fried rice recipe uses yellow curry powder. Yellow curry powder is the mildest of curry powders out there. It has fragrant and bold tones, with mild sweet flavors. It’s not spicy.
Yellow curry powder is actually made of a lot of spices, such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek seeds, ginger, mustard, and ginger. Each brand of yellow curry powder varies in terms of the specific spices.
Because the curry flavors in this recipe matters so much, I’d recommend buying good quality yellow curry powder. I like to use Spice Island’s Yellow Curry Powder.
Tips for the Perfect Fried Rice
Here are a few helpful tips to make the best fried rice at home:
- Use day-old rice: Make the rice the day before and refrigerate. It holds up better and absorbs the yellow curry powder and seasoning without getting too wet.
- Use HIGH heat to ensure proper flavor development.
- Have all ingredients ready: Because you use high heat, everything happens very fast. Have everything chopped and ready to go.
- Cook ingredients in parts: The key to great fried rice is not overcrowding the pan. I’d recommend cooking the proteins separately.
- Eggs and chicken: The 2 proteins in this fried rice.
- Chicken bouillon: Adds flavor to the chicken. It’s optional.
- Onions, ginger, garlic: The aromatics for the fried rice base.
- Diced bell peppers, carrots, peas: The main veggies in this recipe. Make sure to dice the bell peppers and carrots really small so they cook faster.
- Day old rice: Day old rice tends to be drier, which is great for absorbing all the seasoning and sauces without getting too wet or mushy. Make the rice 1-2 days in advance.
- Yellow curry powder: Use good quality yellow curry powder for best results.
- Water: To add moisture and help the curry powder get absorbed fully into the rice.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for the skillet
- Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish
Step 1 | Cook eggs and chicken
Step 2 | Cook vegetables and aromatics
Add oil to the skillet, and cook onions, carrots, and peppers. Cook until softened. Then, add aromatics (ginger and garlic) plus peas. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Step 3 | Mix in rice and yellow curry powder
Add cooked day-old rice and cook until warmed, breaking it up. Then, stir in curry powder and mix. Add water as needed to add moisture and allow the curry powder to absorb into the rice.
Tip: Day-old rice is drier, ensuring your fried rice won’t turn soggy or too wet. The grains of rice should be separated. It also absorbs sauce and seasoning better, so it’s extra flavorful.
Step 4 | Return eggs and chicken
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return cooked eggs and chicken to skillet, mix. Garnish with sliced green onions.
Make Ahead Tips
There are several ways to prep ahead all the ingredients for this curry fried rice recipe.
- Make rice 1-2 days in advance. Fried rice should be made with day-old rice for best results.
- Dice chicken the day before
- Dice veggies and aromatics the day before
You can also make the curry fried rice, from start to finish, up to 3 days in advance. Reheat in the microwave oven or in a skillet.
Substitutions and Variations
This curry fried rice recipe is very customizable. You can add in:
- Diced fresh pineapples
- Shrimp, beef, tofu, diced ham
- Instead of plain rice, use this Coconut Jasmine Rice recipe to prepare the rice. It will add beautiful aromatic coconut flavors!
As for substitutions, this is what I’d recommend:
- Jasmine rice: brown rice or other long grain white rice (must be cooked the day before), cauliflower rice.
- Chicken: Shrimp, beef, tofu, or your favorite protein
- Vegetables: Feel free to use frozen mixed vegetables instead of bell peppers, peas, and carrots.
- Chicken bouillon: You can omit this, if desired. Just season the chicken a bit more.
- Don’t substitute the yellow curry powder – it’s the only type of curry powder that can be used to make this Yellow Curry Fried Rice recipe.
Other Asian-Inspired Recipes
I love cooking with Asian-inspired flavors! This curry fried rice has a combination of Indian and Southeast Asian flavors. We also love this Lentil Curry from RecipeTin Eats and this Thai Yellow Curry from Pinch of Yum.
These are my favorite Asian recipes that you can make right at home:
Cook the rice using a little bit less water. Then, scoop the rice onto a sheet pan onto a thin single layer and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, uncovered. The texture will be about the same as day old rice.
I’d highly recommend using day-old rice, meaning you cook it the day before. It holds up better and absorbs the yellow curry powder and seasoning without getting too wet or mushy.
I use jasmine rice, but feel free to use any type of long grain rice. You can also try basmati, brown rice, or even cauliflower rice.
No, there’s no need. Curry powder is already pretty bold and flavorful. Just add water to allow the yellow curry powder to absorb into the rice.
Tips for Success
- Use day old rice for best results. It holds up better and absorbs the yellow curry powder and seasoning without getting too wet or mushy.
- There’s no need to add soy sauce to this fried rice, as curry powder already has enough flavors. Instead, just add water to the skillet to allow the curry powder to absorb into the rice fully. This will also help balance out the curry flavors and add moisture.
- Small dice the carrots and bell peppers so that they cook fully in the hot skillet.
- Have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. Fried rice happens very fast over high heat.
Curry Fried Rice with Chicken
- Vegetable oil
- 1 large chicken breast, cut into small cubes - boneless, skin removed
- ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ⅓ cup small-diced onions
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup small-diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup small-diced carrots
- ⅓ cup frozen green peas
- 3 cups day-old cooked Jasmine rice - cooked day before and refrigerated, see notes
- 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder - see note
- Scallions, thinly sliced - for garnish
- Water, as needed - about ⅓ to ½ cup
- Season chicken: Drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Season with chicken bouillon, salt and pepper (about ½ teaspoon Kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper). Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beaten eggs, and cook breaking them up into smaller pieces with your spatula. Transfer cooked eggs to a plate. Set aside.
- Increase to high heat. Heat about 1 more tablespoon oil in the same wok or skillet, and cook the chicken until fully cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Over high heat, add about 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the diced onions, carrots, and bell pepper for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are slightly softened. Then, add garlic, ginger, and peas for 1-2 minutes, stirring until fragrant.
- Add a few more drizzles of oil. Add the cooked day-old rice, breaking it up with a spatula and tossing until warm.
- Add yellow curry powder and mix with the rice until evenly combined. Gradually drizzle in water (about ⅓ to ½ cup, or as needed) letting it be absorbed into the rice, stirring, about 2-3 minutes. If needed, add more water. Note: Water helps the curry powder get absorbed and incorporated into the rice. It also adds moisture.
- Return cooked eggs and chicken to the skillet. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sliced green onions. Serve warm. Enjoy!
- How to cook rice for fried rice: To make 3 cups of cooked rice for this recipe, use 1.5 cups of uncooked rice (you may have some extra). Use this rice to water ratio: for every 1 cup of jasmine rice, use 1 ⅓ cups of water. Let cool down completely and refrigerate overnight.
- If you forget to make rice in advance: Cook rice with less water than usual (use 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons water per 1 cup of rice). Then, scoop the cooked rice onto a sheet pan on a thin single layer. Refrigerate the rice for 2-3 hours, uncovered.
- No need to add soy sauce to this fried rice, as curry powder already has enough flavor. Instead, just add water to allow the curry powder to absorb into the rice fully. This will also helps to balance out the bold curry flavors and add moisture.
- Have all the ingredients chopped and ready before you start cooking. Cooking fried rice happens very fast over high heat.
- Make ahead: Make rice from start to finish, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave oven or over a skillet.
- Prep ahead: chop and dice all the veggies and aromatics in advance. Make the rice 1-2 days in advance.
- Don’t substitute the yellow curry powder.
- Jasmine rice: basmati, long grain rice, brown rice. For carb-free option, try cauliflower rice.
- Chicken: Shrimp, beef, tofu, or your favorite protein
- Bell peppers, carrots, peas: Frozen mixed vegetables.
- Chicken bouillon: Omit if desired. Just season the chicken a bit more.
- Variations: Use my coconut jasmine rice, add peanuts, bean sprouts.